I had so much fun around the Niagara Falls area over Memorial Day weekend that I decided to go back up that way for the 3-day Labor Day weekend, but this time, on the New York side. I also have a good disc golf buddy living up there that I wanted to visit and play golf with. I flew up Friday night to Buffalo, arriving just after midnight. I figured I’d rent my car, and get to sleep around 1 am. Unfortunately, the 2-hour wait to get my rental car, and the hour drive south delayed my sleep until 4 am. And since I couldn’t find a hotel room, I ended up sleeping in the back of my vehicle.
After a restless 3-hour nap, I drove over to Evangola State Park in Irving to play the fun but dewy-wet 18-hole course there. I then played the very-challenging course at Emery Park along the ski slopes, complete with elevation and massive woods. My next course in Orchard Park was at Chestnut Ridge Park, which I also thoroughly enjoyed, despite hitting every tree on the course. The next two courses were small little 3 and 4 holers that paled in comparison to the 3 previous 18-holers. I next drove to the south side of Buffalo to barely view the Buffalo South Entrance Lighthouse. While there, I visited and hiked around the Tifft Nature Preserve. I really enjoyed this place, and got a kick out of the viewing blinds, where you can peak through different holes in the blind to see the various wildlife in the lakes. One of the trails was covered in biting red ants, so I made sure to steer clear of it.
I then drove into the cute town of Lancaster, where I played the great Como Lake Park course. An extremely tough course, it was great fun until I threw my favorite disc into the river. I was pretty bummed out about this, but then I noticed a lighthouse off in the distance, and it kind of took me by surprise, as I wasn’t expecting to see one out here. Turns out, it was part of the skating rink and boat rental area of the park back in the 50’s and 60’s. Although never an actual lighthouse, it made for some great photos, and helped take my mind off my lost disc…for a little while, at least. After my round there, I drove to the Sassafras Bed & Breakfast, where I checked in and then had a nice dinner in Lancaster’s historic section.
After a great night’s sleep compared to the night before, I was ready to head into downtown Buffalo to view some more lighthouses. As I walked around the Buffalo Harbor, I got some great views of the Buffalo Main lighthouse, along with many WWII battleships parked at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park. I then headed over to Grand Island, where I played the fun but tough Beaver Island course before visiting the island’s lighthouse just up the road. I then spent the rest of the afternoon playing the 4 disc golf courses in the Tonawandas area before driving up to Olcott, right on Lake Ontario. I viewed the town’s restored lighthouse and the cute downtown section and amusement park, which made me feel like I was back in the 50’s. I then stayed with my good friend from Florida, who lives in Olcott for the summer months.
On Monday morning, we drove over to the pretty Wilson-Tuscarora Park to play the long course there. My buddy easily beat me, but it was great to play golf with him again, as we’ve played many rounds in Florida together, and have traveled all over Florida playing different courses. I then headed over to Fort Niagara to check out the one of the coolest forts I’ve ever been too. With a long history dating back to 1700’s, the buildings were fascinating to walk through, particularly the mansion. I could’ve spent all day in there. I then went up in the lighthouse there for some more great views of the fort before meeting up with my friend again at Joseph Davis State Park in Lewiston. This particular course was rather special, as it was 500th course I’ve played in my 17-year disc golf career. My intention was never to play this many courses, but with all the traveling I do, it was bound to happen. And it was a great way to wrap up my fun Labor Day weekend.